Monday, September 28, 2009

I really liked reading in chapter 5 about curriculum and the positive ways we can teach it in our own classrooms. All of the principles in this chapter are so important and I hope that I will be able to implement them successfully. What I think is so great about differentiation is it is used in all areas of the classroom and they all overlap with each other. I know that I will be a better teacher if I can provide each of my students with curriculum that is engaging, demanding, focused and important. I want my students to enjoy being in my classroom and enjoy learning. If my students are given work that is hard for them, but not too hard, I know they will have greater motivation to learn and have a greater sense of self and pride when they accomplish the task no matter how it compares to other students in the classroom. I want my curriculum to be relevant and important to my students. I liked in the chapter where it discussed that when work is engaging for our students they begin to see the value and importance of it, and are even curious and excited to learn more. It is so important that we know and understand our students the best we can so we can provide the proper scaffolding for them and teach the curriculum in a a way that will be meaningful for them. It does seem like a daunting task, but as a teacher I need to find a way to do that for every one of my students.

I really liked reading chapter 6 because it was of a lot of ideas of practical application in the classroom. I really liked the strategies it talked about for important, focused, and engaging curriculum. My favorite ones were using meaningful audiences, and help students discover how ideas and skills are useful in the world. It would be so much easier to get our students excited about things that are meaningful to their life, and they see a purpose behind! It makes my job easier in a way, why would I not want to do that? I do think that it is important that we incorporate these principles, but continue to make sure that the curriculum is demanding and we have high expectations for our students.

I loved where it talked about using small group instruction as a regular part of instruction cycle. What a great idea I never would have thought of. And the beauty of it is that it doesn't take much planning. I can look for needs in the classroom that need to be met, ask students who need help with that concept to meet with me in the back of the classroom and ten minutes later those students walk away with a clearer understanding. It is a great way to access your students and as a teacher evaluate what needs to be re-taught in a different way.

I also like the idea of establishing peer networks for learning. When I read this I immediately thought of two things. First I thought of how holding morning meetings in our classrooms can create a community of learners and peer networks will already be in place if our classroom is already operating in that way. Secondly I thought of our cohort and how we totally operate in peer learning groups. I think because we learn using peer learning groups, that is what makes learning so enjoyable for us! I really do enjoy coming to school now because it is easier for me since I have a whole network of other students that I can learn together with. Establishing peer learning groups in my own classroom will be a huge goal of mine because I believe it will make the biggest difference between having a successful or non-successful school year.

1 comment:

Teacherheart said...

Wow, Kari! This was a great, thorough and thoughtful response. I loved reading it! 4 points